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Mike Ferguson


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 7th district
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Bob Franks
Succeeded by Leonard Lance

Born June 22, 1970 (1970-06-22) (age 39)
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Maureen Ferguson
Residence Warren, New Jersey
Alma mater University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University
Occupation non profit program director, school administrator
Religion Roman Catholic

Michael A. "Mike" Ferguson (b. June 22, 1970, Ridgewood, New Jersey) is an American Republican Party politician who served as member of the United States House of Representatives representing New Jersey's 7th congressional district from 2001 to 2009.

Ferguson announced on November 19, 2007, that he would not run for re-election in 2008, stating that he wants to spend more time with his family.[1]

Contents

Early career

Ferguson attended the Delbarton School, the University of Notre Dame and has an M.P.P. from the Georgetown University.

Before running for Congress he worked as a teacher at a private school, and worked as a part time as an instructor at a community college.[2]

Ferguson was Executive Director of the Catholic Campaign for America, whose board members include William Bennett, Tom Monaghan and Mary Ellen Bork (wife of Robert Bork). Other notable members of the Catholic Campaign for America include Rick Santorum and Pat Buchanan. He also served as the executive director of the Better Schools Foundation, which was founded by Lamar Alexander and whose purpose was to promote the use of school vouchers.

Congressional career

Ferguson was the youngest member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation. Ferguson originally sought office in the 6th Congressional District in 1998, even though he had never lived or voted in the 6th district prior to seeking the Republican nomination. He was defeated by Democratic incumbent Frank Pallone. In 1999, Ferguson moved to the 7th district where Republican incumbent Bob Franks had announced his retirement to run for the United States Senate. Ferguson defeated Thomas Kean Jr. in the 2000 congressional primary. He engaged in a difficult election campaign against the Democratic candidate, former Fanwood mayor Maryanne Connelly but won the election, receiving 50% of the vote.

After the 2000 election, Tom Kean Jr. subsequently sued Mike Ferguson and the Council for Responsible Government (a 527 group headquartered in Virginia). The complaint alleged that Ferguson and the Council illegally coordinated their messaging. The complaint also alleged that the Council funded and distributed a brochure under the guise of a nonpartisan group while acting as a partisan advocacy group on behalf of Ferguson ([1]).

In June 2003, after a three-year dispute with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Congressman Ferguson agreed to pay $210,000 for a loan that he made to his campaign during his first election of $525,000 from a trust established for the Congressman by his parents. The FEC claimed that this loan from the trust equated to a gift from his parents. According to Federal law, the cap on personal contributions from an individual to a candidate is capped at $25,000 per election cycle. The fine was one of the highest ever paid to the FEC. Ferguson maintained that he did nothing wrong.[3]

Ferguson received the third most money of all recipients of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ARMPAC campaign contributions. DeLay is being prosecuted on charges of felony money laundering of campaign finances and conspiracy to launder money. To date, Ferguson has not offered to return any of the $54,403 he received from DeLay or ARMPAC, despite calls from Democrats to do so ([2], [3]).

In 2006, Mike Ferguson fought off a tight race with Democratic state legislator Linda Stender. Stender portrayed Ferguson as too conservative for the district and associated him with President Bush, who was extremely unpopular at the time in New Jersey. The 7th district had a slight Republican lean, and Stender managed to defeat Ferguson in the more liberal suburban counties of Middlesex and Union, but Ferguson held on to the more conservative areas in Somerset and Hunterdon counties, and kept Stender to a small lead in Union County. Nevertheless, he defeated Stender by just over 3,000 votes and a margin of less than 2 percentage points.[4]

Ferguson's voting record is moderate by national Republican standards. His lifetime American Conservative Union rating is 74, second-highest in the state's congressional delegation.

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Committee Assignments

  • Energy and Commerce Committee
    • Subcommittee on Health
    • Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet

Controversy

  • Ferguson was accused of grabbing a young woman by the arm at a local college bar in Georgetown. According to the young woman, Ferguson removed his ID pin and handed it to her, saying she could keep it if she would "come back and have a drink with me." Ferguson and witnesses at the bar denied the young woman's version of the event, including the bar manager who stated he witnessed the whole thing and who stated the story and subsequent related Democratic flier were "false and fabricated". The event has been used by his opposition to paint Ferguson negatively, but those tactics have largely backfired.[5][6]

Electoral history

New Jersey's 7th congressional district: Results 2000–2006[7]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2000 Maryanne Connelly 113,479 46% Mike Ferguson 128,434 52% Jerry L. Coleman Independent 5,444 2% Darren Young Independent 973 <1% *
2002 Tim Carden 74,879 41% Mike Ferguson 106,055 58% Darren Young Libertarian 2,068 1%
2004 Steve Brozak 119,081 42% Mike Ferguson 162,597 57% Thomas Abrams Libertarian 2,153 1% Matthew Williams Independent 2,016 1%
2006 Linda Stender 95,454 48% Mike Ferguson 98,399 49% Thomas Abrams Withdraw Troops Now 3,176 2% Darren Young Libertarian 2,046 1%
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2000, Shawn Gianella received 386 votes and Mary T. Johnson received 283 votes.

References

  1. ^ Chebium, Raju. "Ferguson won't seek reelection to Congress", Home News Tribune, November 19, 2007. Accessed November 19, 2007. "Rep. Mike Ferguson, R-Warren Township, said today he won’t seek reelection next year to a fifth term.... he next elections are in November 2008; Stender is again a Democratic candidate for the 7th district seat Ferguson currently occupies."
  2. ^ Congressman Gives Pupils Lesson, copy of article from Home News Tribune by Suzanne C. Russell, January 25, 2001
  3. ^ Ferguson to pay $210K fine for violating federal campaign finance laws, June 13, 2003
  4. ^ U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES / NEW JERSEY 07, CNN.com, November 8, 2006
  5. ^ 2006 Election: The Year of the Scandal, ABC News
  6. ^ The Congressman's Night on the Town, The Washington Post, April 4, 2003; Page C03
  7. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/index.html. Retrieved 2008-01-10.  

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bob Franks
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 7th congressional district

January 3, 2001 - January 3, 2009
Succeeded by
Leonard Lance

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